Showing posts with label shinee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shinee. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2018

video review: 'poet|artist' by JONGHYUN

So this is one of those reviews where I literally have no idea how it's going to be received. I'd like to think well, but really with fandoms these days, who the hell knows...

Anyway, with schedule voting still running I have no idea what I'll be covering next, so I'm just going to work on Resonators instead - stay tuned!

album review: 'poet|artist' by JONGHYUN

So I knew that as soon as I even referenced k-pop as a possibility in my Resonators series, it would be only a matter of time before a k-pop album showed up on my schedule - frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't been sooner, given the genre's devout fanbase. And yet there's a part of me that wishes it wasn't this record to start things off.

Some context, for those who don't know: JONGHYUN, the stage name of Kim Jong-Hyun, was formerly a member of the massive k-pop boy band SHINee, who blew up in the late 2000s blending in elements of contemporary R&B into the traditional boy band stock type. But it didn't surprise me when JONGHYUN started releasing solo projects - he was considered the lead of SHINee and having revisited those solo compilations and debut album, I can see why he had potential. As much as SHINee has embraced elements of more reserved j-pop to flesh out their sound, JONGHYUN was just as reserved and tasteful, pivoting into the sort of mid-2000s R&B that you'd hear from a guy like Ne-Yo or maybe Usher, albeit preferring more grooves driven off of warmer acoustic instrumentation or touches of lush 90s R&B or even g-funk. Even if the writing that I could translate didn't really wow me, I thought this guy had talent, he could have certainly been a solo success story in k-pop...

And I say 'could have' because in December of 2017, JONGHYUN died of toxic smoke inhalation in a death that's widely been considered a suicide, something that deeply shook idol culture in South Korea and provided another serious note in the conversation about the hyper-competitive nature of the k-pop industry. And thus covering this record, which was to be released in January 2018 with writing, production, and promotion nearly done before JONGHYUN's death... well, it's awkward. Hell, all posthumous records are, and I wouldn't cover this as a matter of principle if I felt that the money from it was going to anyone beyond JONGHYUN's family to create a foundation, which it is. So, was this a proper send-off?